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Witness: Anderson Knew Of Possible Exonerating Evidence
Testimony from an unlikely witness shocked the Williamson County District Court Tuesday on day two of Ken Anderson's court of inquiry.
Lawyers for Michael Morton (pictured left) accuse Anderson of withholding evidence in Morton's trial. Morton was wrongly convicted of killing his wife in 1986.
The former prosecutor in Williamson County, currently a district judge, could face contempt of court and evidence tampering charges if the judge rules he illegally disregarded an order at the 1987 murder trial.
It was Kimberly Gardner, a former Williamson County district attorney assistant from 1986 to 1988, who took the witness stand Tuesday. In her testimony, Gardner recalled hearing a conversation, prior to the murder trial, between Ken Anderson and two other members of his prosecution team about what Michael Morton's three-year-old son saw the night of Morton's wife's murder.
"It's very hard to do this, because I don't want to be here, but I know what I heard," Gardner said. "I remember him with his arms crossed, and he said, 'the kid thinks a monster killed his mother.'"
Gardner recalled Anderson strategizing a possible rebuttal argument that perhaps Morton wore his diving wetsuit as a disguise which made him look like a monster to his own son.
Before Gardner took the stand Tuesday, the court listened to hours of taped deposition from 2011. In the deposition, Morton's attorneys grilled Anderson repeatedly over what he remembered about Morton's prosecution. Anderson said he struggled to remember the details.
"Council I'm sick about the whole thing," Anderson said. "It's your worst nightmare to have somebody that's innocent get convicted. White and I should have sat down 15 years ago and figured out what the heck was going on. I don't know how we got that far. Something different should have happened."
The DNA evidence found near the crime scene has been identified as that or Mark Norwood. Norwood will stand trial for Christine Morton's murder on March 18, and is also charged with the 1988 murder of Debra Masters Baker of Austin.
Anderson has yet to testify under oath in court but is expected to take the stand.
Since 1985 only three Texas judges have been publicly reprimanded.
By Cassie Gallo